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Metro Atlanta couple burned in New Zealand volcano explosion described as 'beautiful people'

'It's tough.'
Credit: Provided

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — A metro Atlanta community is devastated after one of their own - clinging to life after experiencing a tragic accident while on vacation - died over the weekend. 

Mayuri Singh was one of dozens of people burned in a volcanic eruption in New Zealand Dec. 9. She died at a New Zealand hospital, Sunday, after suffering complications from getting treatment.

Roger Da Silva told 11Alive he's known Mayuri and her husband, Pratap, for years. 

He called them "beautiful people" who touched a lot of lives, and said it hasn't been easy to see pictures of his friends, who go by Mary and Paul, since he got the news.

"It's kind of tough," he told 11Alive's Chenue Her on Sunday. "Yeah, it's tough."

RELATED: Atlanta woman hurt in New Zealand volcano explosion dies, family friend says

Both Mayuri and Pratap were on vacation in New Zealand about two weeks ago when the volcano on White Island erupted. At least 17 people were killed in the explosion, and dozens more - including the Singhs - were severely burned. 

But, on Sunday, Da Silva got the update he feared.

"Seventy percent of (Mary's) body was burned, and today I got the bad news that she passed away this morning," he stated.

Da Silva said Mary died from her injuries, while Paul is still recovering from surgeries and skin graphing procedures after 40 percent of his body was burned.

"Forty percent of your body is a lot, but Paul has a strong heart and he's going to make it through this," Da Silva affirmed.

He said it's not just him who's pulling for Paul right now, but a whole community of people who he's gotten to know through his many businesses.

"He donated to so many charities. Paul came to this country with a nickel and a dime," he explained. 

If he recovers, Da Silva predicts Paul's life will never be the same. 

"(I) just hope that he comes out and he's going to be okay," he said.

"He's never going to be okay," he amended, knowing that his friend will have to live without his wife. "I know he's never going to be okay."

Da Silva said now it's time for others to extend a helping hand to Paul and his kids. He said he's not sure when Paul will make it back from from the hospital in New Zealand, but he is sure that family and friend will be keeping a close watch for any progress.  

RELATED: Incredible images: Deadly New Zealand volcano erupts


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